- 1 History
- 2 Location and How to Get There
- 3 Biodiversity: Fauna and Flora
- 4 Activities within the Botanic Garden
- 5 Facilities and Services
- 6 Conservation and Education at the Botanic Garden
- 7 Tips and Recommendations for Your Visit
- 8 Photographic Opportunities
- 9 Culture and Community around the Botanic Garden
- 10 Accommodation and Gastronomy Options
- 11 Photo Gallery
Fascinating and with lush beauty, the Andromeda Botanic Gardens in Barbados is one of the must-visit places. It features different species of fauna and flora native to the area, making the stay on the island much more enticing. Get ready for your visit with our guide in this little green paradise of the Caribbean!
The Andromeda Botanic Gardens has a rich history dating back to 1954. It was created by the award-winning horticulturist Iris Bannochie and her husband, and since then, it has been home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna, covering an area of 2.43 hectares. The garden is a part of the Botanic Gardens Conservation International.
The botanical garden’s name comes from the figure of Andromeda in Greek mythology. The garden began as a private collection of plants around Iris Bannochie’s house, a prominent horticulture expert on the island.
In 1954, Iris Bannochie founded the garden on the family-owned land, which has been in the family since 1740. The garden showcased both the existing plants in Andromeda and those that had participated in numerous floral displays by the "Barbados Horticultural Society" at the "RHS Chelsea Flower Show" in London.
Andromeda opened its doors to the public for the first time during a charity event organized by the "Barbados Horticultural Society" in the 1970s. The response was positive, and since then, the garden has been open to the public with an entrance fee.
In 1971, during the visit of Queen Ingrid of Denmark, an observation deck was constructed, offering a view of the sea, where she was served refreshments.
In 1990, the garden received around 40,000 visitors annually. Currently, the Andromeda Botanic Gardens is owned by the "Barbados National Trust", and its maintenance is managed by "Perseus Inc". The University of the West Indies (UWI) is responsible for educational and research activities in Andromeda, with the support of the Peter Moores Foundation from the United Kingdom.
Location and How to Get There
Located in the village of Bathsheba, in the parish of Saint Joseph in Barbados, the garden is easily accessible by road. You can arrive by car, taxi, or even through local bus routes with nearby stops. Its address is: Andromeda Botanic Gardens C/- Tropical Horticulture University of the West Indies, PO Box 64, Bridgetown, St Joseph, Barbados. Its coordinates: 13°13′0″N 59°31′0″W.
Biodiversity: Fauna and Flora
The garden is home to over a thousand species of tropical and subtropical plants, some of which are endemic to Barbados. Likewise, its vibrant ecosystem also hosts a wealth of animal life, including various species of birds and butterflies. It boasts diverse collections of trees, shrubs, ornamental and tropical fruit plants, with over 600 species arranged in a natural environment that includes waterfalls, ponds, and streams. Some of the highlighted collections include cacti, orchids, palms (with over 60 different species), wetland plants, and medicinal plants. Also represented are genera such as Begonia, Bougainvillea, Croton, Hibiscus, Heliconia, and Bromeliad.
In addition to the botanical collections, the garden offers facilities such as a library, a classroom, a cafeteria, and a gift shop. The garden’s educational program is developed in collaboration with the Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences of the University of the West Indies.
Endemic and Exotic Plants
From the majestic Barbados palm to the exotic jade plant, you will discover a wide variety of flora in the garden. Each of these species plays an important role in maintaining the ecosystem and the beauty of the garden.
The garden is not just a paradise for plants. Visitors can also expect to see a wide range of animal life, including birds, butterflies, and other insects that contribute to the biological diversity of this Caribbean oasis.
Activities within the Botanic Garden
Trails and Paths
The garden features several well-maintained trails that will take you through its diverse landscape. Each route offers a unique view of the beauty and diversity of the garden’s flora and fauna.
For a more enriching experience, we recommend joining a guided tour. Experienced guides will provide detailed information about the plants and animals you’ll encounter during your tour.
The garden hosts various flower festivals throughout the year, showcasing different plant species in different seasons. These events are a wonderful opportunity to see the garden in all its splendor.
Full Moon Nights
Full moon nights at the Andromeda Botanic Gardens are truly magical. Visitors can stroll along the illuminated trails and enjoy the serenity and beauty of the garden under the moonlight.
The garden offers a variety of seasonal activities that allow visitors to interact with nature in a fun and educational way.
Facilities and Services
The garden is equipped with clean and modern facilities to ensure visitors’ comfort. You’ll also find a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs and learn more about the local biodiversity.
Conservation and Education at the Botanic Garden
The Andromeda Botanic Gardens play a significant role in the conservation of biodiversity in Barbados. Constant efforts are made to preserve and cultivate rare and endangered plant species.
Educational Programs and Events
The garden offers a series of educational programs for visitors of all ages. These programs are designed to promote awareness and appreciation for biodiversity and environmental conservation.
Tips and Recommendations for Your Visit
Best Time to Visit
The garden is open all year round, but the best time to visit is during the dry season, from December to April, when most of the plants are in bloom.
What to Bring
Remember to wear comfortable footwear, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself from the tropical sun. It’s also advisable to bring a water bottle to stay hydrated during your visit.
Safety and Health Considerations
The garden is generally a safe place to visit, but it’s always best to be prepared. Make sure to follow designated trails and respect the signs and regulations of the garden to ensure your safety and the preservation of the place.
Highlights for Photography
With its lush vegetation and colorful flowers, the Andromeda Botanic Gardens offer countless opportunities for stunning photos. Some highlights include the waterfall, lily ponds, and palm areas.
Tips for Nature Photography
To get the best shots, we recommend visiting during the early morning or sunset when the light is softer. Make sure to bring a good camera and be patient to capture the perfect shot.
Culture and Community around the Botanic Garden
Impact on the Local Community
The Andromeda Botanic Gardens is not only a tourist attraction but also plays an important role in the local community. It provides employment, promotes environmental education, and contributes to sustainable tourism in Barbados.
Involvement with Bajan Culture
The garden also offers an opportunity to get to know and appreciate the rich Bajan culture. From the architecture of the place to local events, visitors can gain an authentic insight into life in Barbados.
Accommodation and Gastronomy Options
There are various accommodation options near the garden that cater to all budgets. Some recommended hotels include Atlantis Hotel, Eco Lifestyle Lodge, and Sea-U Guest House.
Restaurants and Local Food
After exploring the garden, you can enjoy delicious Bajan food at nearby restaurants. We recommend trying local dishes such as flying fish, cou-cou, and passion fruit juice.